“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
Ask the Lord to inspire your heart and guide your steps with principles from His Word. The articles below can help you.
• Prayer of a Good and Faithful Servant
Lord, the earth and everything in it is yours! (Psalm 24:1) Everything comes from you, and I have given you only what comes from your hand (1 Chronicles 29:14). You send poverty and wealth (1 Samuel 2:7). Have you not put a hedge around me and my household and everything I have? (Job 1:10)
Father, in your Word you said it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). And so Lord, I want to honor you with my wealth (Proverbs 3:9). I know that faith, if not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17). But unless I respond in love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). I am willing and my heart is moved to bring an offering to you Lord (Exodus 35:21).
Lord, you’ve called me to provide for my family (1 Timothy 5:8). And to provide for those who have instructed me in your Word (Galatians 6:6). And to share with your people who are in need (Romans 12:13). And to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). And so may my service of giving to you – during and after my lifetime – supply the needs of your people and overflow in many expressions of thanks to you (2 Corinthians 9:12), so that one day I’ll hear you say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23). For it’s in the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
• What Does God Say About Providing for My Family?
- Make provision for your loved ones. “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
- Take steps to avoid interpersonal conflicts. “Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.” (Proverbs 11:29)
- Be cautious about leaving large inheritances to children. “An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.” (Proverbs 20:21)
- Don’t store up excess resources you don’t need. “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.” (Luke 12:18)
- Use family resources to reach people for Christ. “It is God Who gives seed to the man to plant. He also gives the bread to eat. Then we know He will give you more seed to plant and make it grow so you will have more to give away.” (2 Corinthians 9:10)
• 7 Habits of Highly Effective Believers
Habit 1: Be Thankful. “In everything give thanks…” (I Thessalonians 5:18 ). A steward’s heart begins with an attitude of gratitude.
Habit 2: Trust God to Provide. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God….” (1 Timothy 6:17).
Habit 3: Be Content. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have…” (Hebrews 13:5). Contentment isn’t “getting what you want – it’s wanting what you’ve got.”
Habit 4: Be a Faithful Example. “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.…” (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7). Our children may fail to listen, but they seldom fail to imitate us.
Habit 5: Live Within Your Means. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13). We can live on less than we make in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Habit 6: Give Time and Talent. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 ). Highly effective stewards use their time and talents to honor God.
Habit 7: Give Treasure. “Honor the Lord with your wealth….” (Proverbs 3:9). Our giving shows our loyalty to Christ – during and after our lifetimes.
• 5 Best Ways to Bless Your Family's Future
1. Get a Will. When people start adding up the value of their home, life insurance, retirement accounts, and other property, they begin to see that even with a modest middle class estate, a plan is needed that provides for their families and the charities they love.
2. Reduce (or eliminate) unnecessary taxes and court costs. A Will can help you reduce probate hassles and costs, avoid certain taxes, and decrease other administrative expenses – freeing up more resources to your heirs and charitable work.
3. Decide who will manage your stuff after you die. Without a Will, a court decides how to distribute your estate. On the other hand, when you name your own representative in your Will, you decide who will distribute the money and things entrusted to you.
4. Decide who will take care of your kids. If you have minor children, a Will allows you to name the guardian of your children and a Trustee of the assets to provide for the children. If a court is left to make these decisions for you, your spiritual values may be disregarded.
5. Include “ministry” in your family. Your Will can be powerful a testimony to family and friends. Including your extended “family” in your Will – namely your church and favorite charities – is a wonderful way to express your values for generations to come.
• What Happens If I Die Without a Will?
If you do not have a Will, the State actually has one for you. Unfortunately, that means state law would determine (without your input):
• Who will be the next steward of the resources entrusted to you
• Who will care for your young children
• Who will administer your estate
With a Will, you get to decide these things. In addition to making sure your immediate family is provided for in your Will, you can also bless your extended “family” – including your church and favorite charitable organizations.
• Top 10 Reasons to Update Your Will
These 10 life events may signal it’s time for an up-to-date Will:
1. Marriage or Divorce
2. New baby, adopted children, or stepchildren
3. Moving to another state
4. Changing your mind about heirs
5. Major changes in property ownership or financial assets
6. Changes in estate planning and estate tax law.
7. Death or disability of someone named in your Will
8. Children have reached the age of 18
9. You would like to provide for a ministry organization
10. It has been three years or more since you have reviewed your Will.
3 Ways to Avoid Family Heartache
Some families make surprising discoveries after a loved one dies. As one blogger recalls, “My mom’s step-grandpa told everyone he was an electrician that was often called to do repair jobs out of town. After he died, the family received a letter from the president of the United States, revealing he was actually a demolitions expert and worked in some sort of special ops bomb squad for the military. Even his wife had no idea.”
But not every revelation is such an admirable one. Some families discover their loved one was hiding an addiction or debt. Many children are stunned to discover they were omitted from their parents’ will – with no chance for an explanation. Not only is this bewildering and hurtful, it’s ultimately the last message a parent sends to their child. These heartaches can be avoided. Here’s where to start:
- Construct a plan. Did you know 60 percent of Americans do not have an estate plan? Creating a will is actually a simple process but the impact is monumental. An up-to-date will can ensure your loved ones are provided for without additional expense and frustration.
- Communicate your heart. Once you’ve created an estate plan, it’s important to explain the decisions you’ve made. Some families experience complicated relationships or situations where receiving an inheritance could actually be detrimental. It’s better to be honest than to leave a lifetime of questions. It can also be a wonderful time to speak from your heart. Share about your personal values, causes or organizations you’ve cared about or chosen to include in your will.
- Collect information. Many people create a “love drawer” or “love file” to gather important information their loved ones will need in the future. This could include legal documents, financial account information, insurance policies, passwords, medical wishes, or personal letters sharing how much they’ve meant to you.
Romans 12:18 is a great reminder of how we should live with others –
and the lengths we should explore to keep peace even after we pass.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
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